Saturday, October 24, 2009

Best Restaurants in San Francisco - 2009/2010

The new "Zagat 2010 Bay Area Restaurants" and "The Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area, and Wine Country Restaurants 2010" were recently released. So it's time for Blue Heron's annual summary of the critics' choices for the best restaurants in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Zagat's list of the five most popular restaurants includes Gary Danko, Boulevard, The French Laundry (Yountville, Napa Valley), The Slanted Door, and Chez Panisse (Berkeley). The top rated for food are Gary Danko, Cyrus (Healdsburg), and The French Laundry with 29 points. Kiss Seafood, Acquerello, La Folie, Masa's, Erna's Elderberry House (Oakhurst, south of Yosemite National Park), Kaygetsu (Menlo Park), Chez Panisse, Sushi Ran (Sausalito), and Coi received 28 points. All restaurants are in San Francisco unless otherwise noted.

Once again, Michelin awarded three stars to only one restaurant in the Bay Area: the French Laundry in Yountville in the Napa Valley. Two stars were awarded to Cyrus in Healdsburg, Coi in San Francisco, Manresa in Los Gatos, and the Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena in the Napa Valley. Former two-star restaurants Aqua and Michael Mina lost two and one stars respectively. Thirty-four restaurants in the Bay Area received one star.

The "San Francisco Chronicle" awards four stars to the top restaurants. Current recipients are Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Cyrus in Healdsburg, Manresa in Los Gatos, the French Laundry in Yountville, and Coi, La Folie, Michael Mina, and The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco.

While I have not dined at all of these restaurants, I did return to Gary Danko a few months ago and it remains my favorite in San Francisco.

Come to San Francisco and you'll have a chance to pick your favorite. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance as these top restaurants frequently well in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you may not be able to get a table or may have to dine at 5:30 or 10:00 p.m.

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